According to the results of a 24-week study published in Dermatologic Surgery, Belotero, the new hyaluronic acid filler by Merz, provides longer-lasting wrinkle correction than bovine collagen injectables.
The study results come at a time when Belotero is awaiting FDA approval and pharmaceutical competitor Allergan is pulling its bovine collagen injectables Zyderm and Zyplast, as well as its human-derived collagen injectables CosmoDerm and CosmoPlast from the market. Johnson & Johnson also announced in 2009 that it would discontinue its porcine collagen injectable Evolence.
“As one would expect with a good HA (hyaluronic acid filler), [Belotero] lasted longer than bovine collagen, which lasts much longer than human collagen, and it was just as safe as bovine collagen,” said Dr. Rhoda Narins, the study’s principal investigator and clinical professor of dermatology at New York University.
Dr. Narins and other investigators at six U.S. sites conducted the double-blind study on 118 subjects with moderate-to-severe bilateral nasolabial folds, injecting Belotero on one side of the face and a bovine collagen filler on the other. Touch-up treatments were occasionally needed, and study participants were evaluated at two, four, eight, 12, 16 and 24 weeks after their last treatment.
While the greatest wrinkle correction was seen in both Belotero and collagen injectables at week eight, patients treated with Belotero had noticeably better wrinkle correction at weeks 12, 16 and 24, according to both blinded and treating investigators.
In fact, patients who participated in a study extension received another round of Belotero injections after their initial results were evaluated at 24 weeks, and Dr. Narins found that about 80 percent of patients didn’t need to be retreated for 12 to 18 months.
In addition, study participants experienced more adverse side effects with collagen, as more patients reported injection site nodules with collagen (7.6 percent) versus with Belotero (5.9 percent).
Dr. Narins also noted that in addition to offering longer-lasting results, Belotero will not cause the Tyndall effect (bluish skin tint in treated areas) and can be injected both superficially and deeply, unlike some injectable fillers.
“I believe Belotero will take its place among the best of the HAs (hyaluronic acid fillers),” says Dr. Narins. She also pointed out that Merz, the company that distributes Belotero, also distributes the popular injectable filler Radiesse (calcium hydroxylapatite).
“The duo of Radiesse with an HA (hyaluronic acid filler) is an excellent filler combination,” says Dr. Narin.